Media and Politics in the United States

Course description: We will examine print and television media, social media and the Internet; the constitutional status of the political media; who owns and controls the media; media bias; and what is its role in campaigns, elections, and policy-making. 

I. Introduction

   The Nature of Journalism
   Who Owns and Controls the Media
   Advertising, Rhetoric, and Truth

II. Media Defined

    Language and Signs
    Print Media
    Visual Media (TV)

    Digital Media (the Internet)
    Social Media

III. The Political Context

     The First Amendment and the Media
     Political Expression
     How the Media Shape Public Opinion
     Campaigns and Elections

IV. What the Media Does To Us and For Us

      Media and Political Power
      Information: Candidates and Policy Issues
      Political Marketing

V. The Political Media and Self-Government

       Political Media and Polarization
       Channel TV
       Media Bias and Media Spin

VI. Reforming the Media

      The Ideal Media
       Constitutional and Political Obstacles to Reform

          Internet Resources     


The Annotated Constitution - The Free Speech and Press Clauses -from the U.S. Congress - [Go to page 1140.]

On the Media --This is a weekly PBS program focusing on the media.

Media Bias/Fact Check --This website classifies media outlets from left to right.

Reliable Sources --This is a program on CNN which examines news relating to the media.

Kate Vinton, “The 15 Billionaires Own America's News Media Companies“ –from Forbes Magazine, June 1, 2016

"These Six Corporations Control 90% of the Media in America" --from (2012)

Editorial Board of
The Wall Street Journal, "The Tale of Stormy Donald," March 26, 2018

Ashley Lutz, "These 6 Corporations Control 90% of the Media in America" --from

"Who Owns the Media?" --from

"Who Owns the Media?" --from PBS (Independent Lens)

"Media in the United States" --from

"Media and News" --from the PEW Research Center (

"U.S. Social Media and Politics - Statistics and Facts" --from

"Do Social Media Threaten Democracy" --from The Economist, November 4, 2017

Susan Condor, Christian Tileagă, and Michael Billig, "Political Rhetoric" --from

Marshall McCluhan,
The Medium is the Message - Chapter 1 --from MIT

Museum -- "The Newseum is an interactive museum that promotes free expression and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, while tracing the evolution of communication."

"Communicaton Studies" --from

Mark Thompson, Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong With the Language (St. Martins, 2016)

Amanda Taub and Max Fischer, "Where Countries are Tinderboxes, Facebook is a Match" --from The New York Times,
April 21, 2018

Vanessa Otero, "Keeping It Real: Tips and Strategies for Evaluating Fake News" --from Loyola Marymount University Library

Vanessa Otero, "All Generalizations Are False" --from Loyola Marymount University Library (

"Media Bias in the United States" --from

Hannah Byrd Little, "Information Bias" --from the Journal of the Association of School Librarians, April, 2017

"Media and News" --from the PEW Research Center

"Did Fake News On Facebook Help Elect Donald Trump?" --from NPR, April 11, 2018

RT - Question More --the Russian website

David E. Truncellito,
"Epistemology" --from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

John Dickerson,
"What If the Problem Isn't the President--It's the Presidency? --from The Atlantic, May, 2018

Julius Baggini, Book Review of Michael S. Gassaniga, The Conscousness Instinct: Unravelling the Mystery of How the
Brain Makes the Mind (2018)

David Callaway, "Press Freedom is Under Attack" --from USA Today, May 3, 2018

"All Pants on Fire! Statements Involving Donald Trump" --from

Daniel T. Gilbert,  "How Mental Systems Believe" -from

Nicholas Kristof,
"Our Addiction to Trump" --from The New York Times,  May 5, 2018

"Is the System Rigged Against Democrats""  (book review)--from The New York Times, May 19, 2018

"Top 30 U.S. Newspapers and News Media" --from

"Louisiana News Media" --from

Hunt Alcott and Matthew Gentzkow, "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election"" (Spring, 2017)

Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump (2018) --U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Judge
Naomi Reice Buchwald

Diane Herbst, "Donald Trump Told Lesley Stahl--Off Camera--the Real Reason He Attacks the Press" --from

Steve Bannon - ABC - Sunday, June 17, 2018 -- Lying said to be simply "Particular Vocabulary"

"Distinguishing Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the News" --from the PEW Research Center,
June 18, 2018

Robert Keiner, "Media Bias" --from CQ Researcher, May 3, 2013

"What Are the Biggest Issues Facing the U.S. Electoral System? --from On Point (NPR), July 17, 2018

"Trump and His 'Business Associates':  Partners in Crime" --from, July 12, 2018

"Russia Aims to Undermine NATO, Lt. General odges Says"  --from NPR, July 24,2018

PBS News Hour Broadcast - July 25, 2018 -- [Note the discussion addressing Trump's lying.]

"Declining Majority of Americans Say the Internet Has Been Good For Society"  --from the PEW Research Center,
April 30, 2018

Jilly Dougherty, "How the Media Became One of Putin's Most Powerful Weapons"      --from The Atlantic, Aprill 21, 2015

"Fake News a Democratic Crisis for the UK, MP Warns" --from the BBC

David Brooks, "The Third Party Option" --from The New York Times, July 30, 2018

Yoram Hazony, "The Liberty of Nations" -from The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2018

Victor Picard, "Media and Politics in the Age of Trump" --from Ohio State University, August 28, 2018

Jilly Lepore, "The Hacking of America" --from The New York Times, September 14, 2018

Shane Scott and Mark Mazzettii, "The Plot to Subvert an Election" --from The New York Times, September 20, 2018

Joseph E. Stiglitz, "Meet the Change Agents," --(book review of Anand Giridharadas,
Winners Take All
--from The New York Times, August 20, 2018  

William Galston, "Today, Truth Can't Be Taken For Granted," --from The Wall Street Journal,
August 21, 2018

Jay Smoothe, "A Crash Course on Media Literacy" --YouTube Video - February, 2018

"Dark Money" --from POV (PBS) - October 1, 2018

Interview of Marvin Kalb by Andea Mitchell --from MSNBC, October 3, 2018

The Federal Election Commission --Quick Answers

CREW v. FEC (2018) --A case which is instructive on the subject of campaign financing...

Harvard Law Review --Supreme Court Statistics - 2016 Term -- Part II

Local and National TV Advertising and How to Advertise --from

Jonathan Rauch, "The Constitution of Knowledge" --from

Campaign Expenditures --from

Donald Trump Interview, October 14, 2018 --from CBS, Sixty Minutes 

Timeline of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election --from

Campaign Expenditures - 2018 Cycle --from

William Galston, "Trump's Grim Playbook for Governance" --from T'he Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2018

Rachel Martin (host), "As Midterms Approach, Facebook Ramps Up Disinformation Fight"

"U.S. Charges Russian With Trying to Influence 2018 Midterms" --from The Wall Street Journal,
October 20, 2018

David Brooks, "Yes, I'm an American Nationalist" --from The New York Times, October 25, 2018

Jim Rutenberg, "Trump's Attacks on the Media Are Working" --from The New York TimesI, October 28, 2018.

6 Media Pillars of the 'Alt-Right' --from

Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)
[Excerpts of the book in Google Books]

Joseph E. Stiglitz, "Meet the 'Change Agents' Who Are Enabling Inequality" - Review of
Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)

Drew Lindsay, "Calling Out Phony Philanthropists" - Critique of Anand Giridharadas' interview
about his book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)

Michael D. Shear, "The 25th Amendment" --from The New York Times, September 21, 2018

David Levinthal, "Federal Election Commission: Commissioners' Terms Expired Long Ago But
Congress and Trump Won't Replace Them"
--from the Center For Public Integrity (April 30, 2018)